Every year, pitchers vie to be the best at their position. They strive for the Cy Young award, which is given in both the National and American League. It’s been a tight race with no clear winner but some pitchers may be pulling away.
Rick Porcello, Boston Red Sox
Rick Porcello may be the most dominant starting pitcher in the league. He’s boasting a 20-4 record, which is by far in the top tier of the league. Even with a 3.12 ERA, Porcello has been able to shut teams down in clutch situations to earn victories for the AL East-leading Red Sox. He’s also been able to make batters whiff with 167 strikeouts and an astounding 1.00 WHIP. Porcello has a firm standing in the Cy Young race.
Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles
Zach Britton has been the shining star in the Orioles’ bullpen this year. He has a 0.67 ERA on the year as he’s been dominating opponents all year. Britton has a 2-1 record and is 43-for-43 on save opportunities this season which tops the league. He’s been able to take away the power from hitters, as he’s only given up one homerun in 62 games. But, the most astounding stat is his 0.83 WHIP, which is also in the top end of pitchers in the majors. Britton has taken the league by storm and has etched his name into the tight race for the AL Cy Young award as a dark horse.
Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals
Danny Duffy has been a welcoming surprise to the defending champion Royals. On a staff full of stellar arms, Duffy has been able to place himself in the rotation as a top pitcher. He may have only a 3.15 ERA, but Duffy makes up for it with an 11-2 record. Also, he’s gotten batters to take that defeated walk back to the dugout by striking out 173 batters. The most impressive stat for Duffy is his 1.07 WHIP in the power-heavy AL.
Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner, the ace of the Giants staff, hasn’t disappointed this year. He comes in with a strong 2.66 ERA in 206.1 innings. With a 14-9 record, Bumgarner has helped boost the Giants to the front of the NL Wild Card race. Bumgarner has also been able to send batters packing with 231 strikeouts. He’s boasting an impressive 1.05 WHIP against the swing-happy National League. Bumgarner has been the pitcher everyone thought he was and has put himself firmly in the race for the NL Cy Young.
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer has been dominant over the past few seasons and nothing has changed this year. With a 2.78 ERA and a 16-7 record, Scherzer is making it known why he’s the ace of the Nationals staff. He even has the league lead in strikeouts with 251 in only 206.7 innings pitched. But, the real show of his dominance, is his league-leading WHIP of just a mere 0.92, which is the best among starting pitchers in the MLB. With his help, the Nationals have been able to win the NL East handedly and amass the second best record in baseball. For Scherzer, winning the Cy Young isn’t a new experience but it will be a battle down the stretch as he looks to take the lead over his fellow pitchers
Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants
Easily a top 5 pitcher in the National League, Johnny Cueto has put up ace-like numbers, even though he’s the second best pitcher on his staff. Cueto has a 2.86 ERA in 207.1 innings pitched, which leads the league. He’s earned a 16-5 record this year with 181 strikeouts. For Cueto, coming to the Giants last year meant a new start. Cueto was able to turn it around, and now, him and teammate Bumgarner are one of the best pitching duos in the league.